I get asked this question a lot: “Henry, do these cellulite creams work?” And my answer is…”No.” That’s it, no. They don’t work. What cellulite creams do, if they contain ingredients such as caffeine which does help the appearance of cellulite, but only while you are using it. Run out of that expensive cream and the dimply appearance creeps back.
That is because caffeine basically draws the moisture out of your skin in the areas you apply the cream. This sort of acts as a flush, and tightens the skin, making the appearance of the cellulite seem diminished…but it’s not getting rid of it1.
What is cellulite? It is the layer of fat just below the skin’s surface. Because women’s skin is thinner than men’s, it shows through much more prevalently. You can’t reduce the number of fat cells you have, but you can reduce the size of those fat cells, and that is one way to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
To actually get rid of cellulite, there are some things you can do. Here are the top five:
1) Exercise! If you strengthen the muscle that lies beneath those trouble areas, you will lengthen the skin, stretching it taut over those fat cells and that forces them into compliance…and you will achieve that smooth look you’re hoping for.
2) Watch your diet. Eat healthy-watch your calorie and fat intake. Less processed foods, more veggies! You’ve heard it all from me before. Eating a healthier diet helps you to lose fat, and when you lose fat, you shrink your fat cells…making them harder to see beneath the skin! Also, adding more fiber and sticking to your 8-10 glasses of water a day will help2.
3) You can try Retin-A. Some dermatologists say that since Retin-A changes the look of the skin,it can help cellulite. But the downside of this is that Retin-A (the generic name is tretinoin) is not cheap, and you’d need quite a bit to cover larger areas1.
4) Improve blood circulation by using a dry brush. You can purchase a body brush at any drugstore or bath and beauty store. Use this before your shower (twice a day for best results). Brush the skin on your thighs and buttocks in a circular motion to increase circulation. This helps to drain the cellulite out of these areas.
5) Stay out of the sun! I know, you think a tan will mask it, but really, the sun’s rays break down the connective tissues of the skin and that lets MORE cellulite show through, not less! So, instead of heading out to the pool and slathering on the suntan lotion…slather on a fake tan2!
1) “Do Anti-Cellulite Creams Work?” (2003). Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/3859.php
2) Seven Ways to Fight Cellulite. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/1013278.html